Jan 7: Not even an FA Cup match against fourth-tier opposition could provide any respite for Mark Hughes.
The beleaguered Stoke manager was condemned to one last humiliation, a 2-1 loss to Coventry in the third round of the world’s oldest knockout competition, before getting fired on Saturday.
Stoke dropped into the Premier League’s relegation zone this week after a run of just two wins in its last 12 matches. It was surprising that Hughes made it to the Coventry match, given the significance of a home loss at Newcastle in the league on Monday.
“I’m not naive,” Hughes said after the loss at the Ricoh Arena, “and I realize people will talk about my position.”
Three hours later, he was out.
Bournemouth avoided becoming another Premier League team to be eliminated by lower-league opposition, scoring an equalizer in the second minute of injury time to draw 2-2 at home to third-tier Wigan. Chelsea and Leicester were also taken to replays after drawing 0-0 at second-tier Norwich and third-tier Fleetwood, respectively.
Premier League leader Manchester City produced a stirring second-half fightback to beat Burnley 4-1, after going into halftime a goal down.
City is still on for a quadruple of trophies this season, as it leads the Premier League by 15 points, is into the semifinals of the League Cup, and has progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League.
Other Premier League teams to advance Saturday were Watford, Southampton, Huddersfield, West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle.
Manchester United and Liverpool progressed on Friday.